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ALEXANDER  VOK  HUMBOLBT.                  03
meet from soil, animals, and savages, deter him from
his plans.
Humboklt and Bonpland sailed quickly down the
serpentine Manzanares, with its shores studded with
cocoa-nut trees. They had embarked at Oumana on
a small merchant vessel, and taken leave of that town
as of a new-beloved home. Was it not the first land
which Humboklt had trod, in a region on which his
.heart had been fixed from his earliest youth, and he
says himself that the impression an Indian landscape
produces is so great and powerful that after a resi-
dence of some months one seems to have lived there
for years. This impression can in n o way be com-
pared to what a European northlander might perhaps
feel after a short sojourn on the gulf of Naples, for
the oaks and pines which grow on the Swedish moun-
tains have a family resemblance to those of Italy and
Greece—but here, between the tropics, where Hum-
boldt wandered, nature appears quite new and magi-
cal, and in the open field, as well as in the close-
grown wood, every reminiscence of Europe fades
The potency of these  impressions  makes up   for
their duration : this explains why Humboldt yet, at
his advanced age, feels a kind of restless desire to see
those spots, especially Oumana, again.    There the sun
does not only shed light on a landscape, as with us,
—it gives a colouring to the* different obj ects; it en-
folds  them,  without destroying  their  transparency,
with a light which makes the colouring more harmo-
nious, and spreads a repose over nature whose reflex
still  exists in   a high degree in Humboldt's  mind.
This explains Humboldt's grief at quitting Oumana,
whose shores he had first trodden five months before
as a newly discovered land, where he had, at first,
approached every bush, every damp or shady spot,
with a certain mistrust, and where he had now be-
come so intimately acquainted with plants, rock, soil,
and  inhabitants.    He did not conceal this parting
pain, when in the eyening he could no longer reco-